Project title: HEMAN V: High Efficiency MANufacturing of VCSELs
Project value: £426,794
Project summary: Affordable and reliable laser technologies have revolutionised consumer electronics and telecommunications over the last 30 years, enabling mass market adoption of ICT technology such as fibre optical communications, CD and DVD storage. It is now at the heart of new advances in laser based manufacturing methods, medical diagnosis, surgery, cosmetics and sensing. The Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) is an advanced laser device which enables multiple lasers to be integrated for high performance applications whilst leading to further miniaturisation and cost reduction opportunities. The HEMAN V project will leverage an existing world leading UK capability in VCSEL materials technology to drive the next wave of consumer, industrial and automotive applications such as gesture recognition, high resolution 3D imaging and projection displays. The project partners offer world-class capabilities in compound semiconductor materials, device fabrication and capital equipment specialists to facilitate the step change in manufacturing methods required to accelerate the adoption of VCSEL solutions in truly mass market products.
Project title: Device Enhanced Performance of Integrated Concentrator Photovoltaics & Thermo-electrics
Project value: £420,122
Project summary: Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) cells offer potentially cost-effective and highly efficiency conversion of solar energy to electricity as much improved alternative to current solar panel technologies. The small size of standard CPV cells (less than 1cm2) can lead to very low electricity costs but the CPV cell temperature needs to be cooled to optimise power generation. This project will develop optimized theoretical designs and manufactured prototypes of novel CPV-Thermos Electric (TE) receivers, lowering costs of renewable energy generation and building the UK CPV supply chain via technical innovation.
Project title: C4ST: Centre for Cosmetic & Curative applications of Compound Semiconductor Technology
Project value: £422,035
Project summary: There is a growing demand for curative, cosmetic and diagnostic technologies to transition from the clinical environment to the home. Photonic solutions are enabling high-end consumer products such as laser hair removal, anti-wrinkle treatments, acne and blemish reduction. LED solutions have enabled consumer self-diagnostics such as pulse oxymetry, and are now being used routinely in fitness and lifestyle monitors. Next generation photonic applications on the short term horizon include non-invasive glucose monitoring, hydration evaluation and breath analysis as wearable technology. Compound semiconductor based lasers are emerging as the only viable solution. This project brings together device specialists and clinical application scientists in the cosmetic, curative and diagnostic domain in order to address the huge opportunities for accelerating the use of compound semiconductors in the home healthcare, lifestyle and diagnostic markets.
Project title: (CORONA) Compound Semiconductor Lasers for Mid-Infrared Gas-Sensing Applications
Project value: £100,000
Project partners: Stratium Limited
Project summary: Cascade Laser (CL) technology has advanced to the point of being a practical solution for the development of compact gas-sensing systems and handheld sensing applications. Large scale commercial businesses are beginning to integrate CL technology into their product portfolios, which will continue to drive adoption and price reduction. The global market for CL based sensing systems is predicted to increase to $1.7 billion by 2024 (Optics.org, 2015). This project will result in a completely new approach to the packaging of cascade lasers, simultaneously driving down costs and reducing manufacturing complexity, whilst meeting the increasing spectral purity requirements of gas-sensing system manufacturers.
Project title: CS MAGIC: Compound Semiconductor MAGnetic Integrated Circuits
Project value: £367,153
Project summary: The global market for magnetic field sensors is expected to reach up to $2.9 billion by year 2020, with a wide rage of applications in metrology, imaging and industrial and automotive sensing. This project will explore the feasibility of producing highly miniaturised magnetic sensors which have the advantage of integrated ancillary electronics on a Compound Semiconductor (CS) millimetre-scale chip solution.
One concept will aim to converge advances in CS electronics with a novel Quantum Well Hall Effect magnetic sensor, combined monolithically on a Gallium Arsenide based material platform. The resulting Magnetic Integrated Circuit (MAGIC) has the potential to have a large dynamic operating range, high sensitivity and ultra-compact footprint. Another concept we will investigate is the feasibility of a radically new Gallium Nitride (GaN) magnetic sensor which has the potential for ultra-high temperature operation, monolithic integration with GaN based electronics and scalability on Silicon and Silicon Carbide large wafer formats. The project will aim to verify whether these concepts can be manufactured in a commercially viable manner in order to challenge traditional, bulky magnetic sensing solutions such as Giant Magneto Resistance sensors and low spec-low cost solutions such as Silicon Hall sensors. Target applications include: current sensing, embedded cable detection, high resolution metrology and magneto-imaging for medical & Non-Destructive Testing.
Project title: DiLAN: Diode LAser manufacture using Nano-imprint lithography
Project value: £1,088,373
Project summary: Project summary and further details on the DiLAN project can be found here: http://www.compoundsemiconductorcentre.com/dilan-d...
Project title: MacV: Miniaturised Atomic Clocks using VCSEL pump sources
Project value: £1,173,079
Project summary: Project summary and further details on the MacV project can be found here: http://www.compoundsemiconductorcentre.com/macv-mi...
Project title: Process module development for GaN RF power and sensor devices
Project value: £60,000
Project summary: This collaborative project builds on the successful progress of two projects already funded by the National Research Network in Advanced Engineering and Materials. It utilizes the combined fabrication capabilities of CU and SU in an integrated process flow to extend the existing GaN capabilities into power and sensor applications.
The power control devices being developed exhibit improved conversion efficiency compared to currently available silicon devices and will target the rapidly growing electric vehicle market. (By the end of 2016, over 35,000 plug-in cars had been registered in the UK over the course of the year, the highest number ever.)
The new sensors use patented technology from Swansea University and are suited to harsh environment, automotive and aerospace applications by virtue of their improved sensitivity and temperature tolerance.
Further details on these and other projects can be found on the partner and Innovate UK websites.